Travelling 8km northwest of downtown Windhoek, along Independence Avenue, brings you to Katutura, the former apartheid-era black township, which is arguably the city’s real heartbeat. With an official population of around 43,000 but unofficially housing over four times more – many in makeshift shanty huts – Katutura is everything that central Windhoek is not: thronging with people, bustling with activity, full of markets, bicycles, running kids and load-carrying guys weaving their way across traffic. To get a greater appreciation of this city within a city, take one of the local operators’ “township tours”, which will give you the opportunity to visit the small business ventures of Soweto Market, the sizzling kapana grills or the Singles’ Quarters meat market – not for the faint-hearted – and throbbing Eveline Street, “the street that never sleeps”, a packed parade of shebeens, hairdressers and car washers. Tours also often take in the Xwama Cultural Centre, or Penduka, a successful craft-making women’s development project, scenically located at Goreangab Dam, where you can also get a bite to eat, or even camp.

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